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Brutal winter has cost the country $50 billion so far

Brutal Winter Costs Economy $50 Billion

The winter you won't soon forget is taking its toll on the US economy -- in a big way.

Bad weather means bad news for retailers, as sales tumbled in January. The storms have cost the country $15 billion in lost productivity, and industrial production was down 0.3 in January. The FED was citing the weather.

It's being called "frozenomics," and the impact of the harshest winter in recent memory is affecting the economy across the board.

First, we had the "polar vortex" in early January. Record cold temperatures literally froze cities across the country.

A few weeks later, a strong winter storm slammed the South. In Atlanta, ice brought economic activity to a standstill. People were stranded on highways for as long as 20 hours.

And now, back-to-back storms in the Northeast have dumped several feet of snow in some places, knocking out power and collapsing roofs.

A new poll conducted by CNBC estimates the total cost to the economy at $50 billion. Retailers were hit hard as auto, furniture and department sales plunged. Job growth also stalled, and an estimated 80,000 jobs were lost because of the bad weather.

... And then there's the airlines. After a strong 2013, they've hit some, well, turbulence.

"Thanks to the brutal winter weather we've been seeing, the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years," NBC reported.

Of course restaurants are also taking big hits.

MSNBC explains that "The food industry is also hurting where restaurant owners can only keep their fingers crossed. When the weather comes in like this, a good probably 75 percent of the business for the day is shot.

There are, of course, some businesses that love the cold weather. Snow plowing operations have been raking it in.

Utility companies have been doing well as people keep turning up the heat, and natural gas prices have soared over the past couple months.

Economists are predicting the next quarter to be much better as the weather improves and consumers are actually able to get out into the world so they can spend some money.

Join the discussion

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William February 16 2014 at 2:56 PM

The more you rely on modern convienences and technology the more these things effect you. It didnt have half the effects 60 years ago.

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1 reply
steelebook William February 16 2014 at 4:52 PM

You mean modern technology like spellcheck? You know that if you hadn't relied on spellcheck, you might have spelled "affect" correctly. I guess you made your point, William. . .

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steve February 16 2014 at 6:27 PM

Damned global warming. Must be a republican to blame.

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scottwilsors February 16 2014 at 6:36 PM


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welcome Richard February 16 2014 at 6:53 PM

WOW now congress can point the finger at Mother Natue and say " See something other than us can screw up the economy, more than twice the amount we caused"

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spike February 16 2014 at 6:54 PM

Obama will be blamed for this storm.

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1 reply
JIM spike February 16 2014 at 7:52 PM

Maybe even mother nature realizes he is a sham and is punishing him. Or maybe god is refusing to give him a break, and we the people who elected him are having to pay for it also. Makes you wonder if he wasn't president would it be this bad now, or would it be better. You will never know, so we can blame him for it, if we want.

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rffolchi February 16 2014 at 7:36 PM

This recovery is so fragile, a tough winter throws it off the track? What's wrong with this picture?

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beobe99 February 16 2014 at 8:28 PM

Damn Obama and his Weather taking away our freedoms and Jobs!


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gary February 16 2014 at 10:34 AM

need to spend another 50 billion and find a form of inexpensive heat for this country.

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1 reply
Ernie gary February 16 2014 at 10:50 AM

We had it- but Obama is forcing it out- it's called coal!!

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mntncougar February 16 2014 at 8:30 PM

Thank God for global warming! Otherwise it would be an ice age!

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Frank Giuliano February 16 2014 at 8:41 PM

First they blamed Bush, Then Fox News, now the weather for the terrible jobs report. And the Media
is a joke too.

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1 reply
rothhammer1 Frank Giuliano February 16 2014 at 9:28 PM

I suppose you'll blame the current President of the U.S. for the winter freeze?

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2 replies
riverhosed rothhammer1 February 16 2014 at 9:48 PM

It's clearly the Secretary of The Interior's fault.

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talari rothhammer1 February 16 2014 at 10:22 PM

God is punishing America, not for tolerating homosexuality, but for encouraging and celebrating it!

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